Adventure: (2020) Episode 23: The Messenger of Darkness, Devimon

In this episode, it starts with MetalGreymon and WereGarurumon getting beaten up by Devimon, but resolving the tanker crisis changes everything. Now they’re set to get beaten up by DoneDevimon.


With the good guys pitted in front of Devimon at long last, it sure feels like this is going to be another consequential fight. Doubly so as the situation in the network reaches a critical mass. Both of these get resolved, one directly feeding into the other the way we like when two camps are fighting separate battles at once. But look at where we’re left in the end. With his revival into a third stronger form… the episode ends with the good guys pitted against Devimon all over again. We just got DBZ’d here. When you break down the impact of all the collective actions… nothing of consequence happened today.

When you have episodes like these, you then fall back to the way it occupies the time. You don’t have to be meaningful to be entertaining, after all. But it does have to continue the show’s love for generally competent action and using attacks creatively. Neither show up in the first half, an endless cycle of Devimon hitting MetalGreymon and WereGarurumon with Death Claw, shots of them being down for the count, followed by shots where they’re back up and healthy. It’s supposed to hype up Devimon’s power, and the dark crystal and miasma fueling it. Thing is, when you have an attack called “Death Claw” and then show it repeatedly failing to deliver either death or even the slightest bit of sustained damage, it undermines the effort.

This uninspired stalemate isn’t the ripest situation for a power upgrade either. It’s too early in the episode for the good guys to add their accessories and Devimon acts like he’s whipping them just fine. Takeru’s seen enough, mercifully stepping in break the chain and lecture Devimon about bullying. It’s a brave moment for Takeru, enough to prompt Poyomon to evolve to Tokomon, not that he’s done anything other than throw himself into dangerous situations this season. It’s this act of defiance, though, that infuriates Devimon enough to evolve himself. His frustration with Angemon’s resistance to the darkness has been his most notable and most interesting trait. It’s distinctive enough to set him apart and make us speculate, but until there’s a payoff to this it’s little more than continued teasing.

We haven’t written much about the situation in the network. This episode proves why: there wasn’t anything to talk about. The Digimon being separated from their partners proved to be a flop as the kids could evolve them just as effectively through Koshiro’s laptop. It proves to be little more than a conduit between the tanker crisis and Devimon. Take those away and it’s a standard battle against an enemy we remember as only existing to make Izumi Orimoto look competent for an episode. The kids have nothing to do but watch with concern as the Digimon get wrapped up by tentacles and pretend all hope is lost.

It isn’t, of course. There is something unique in the way the motivation to win comes about. Koshiro contacts Taichi and the connection going to hell reveals the struggle they’re all facing at the same time. Realizing they all need to come through for each other is fertile ground for getting off the mat and fighting back. But once again, lazy execution sets in. The four in the real world just quietly reflect as their digivices activate the power all of their Digimon could have summoned this entire time. With no barriers to them evolving their partners to Champion, there was no reason to suspect any pushback evolving them to Ultimate. Worse yet, realizing Taichi and Yamato are in a difficult battle, not even necessarily a losing one, is somehow more of a motivator than the threat of a fleet of oil tankers crashing into Singapore.

With their job done, NeoDevimon isn’t a challenge at all. This fight is better, with WereGarurumon showing off his wings again and teeing up MetalGreymon for a one-hit kill. This would have been a shocking and powerful resolution had it ended there. But no, DarkKnightmon isn’t having that, reviving Devimon once again and making all of this entirely moot. Thus we will rinse and repeat next time. The episode has a few interesting takeaways on the periphery, mostly related to Devimon, but until the show starts capitalizing on these potential developments, we’re left waiting and wanting.

My Grade: C

Loose Data:

  • Takeru is apparently so good at hiding that from the time Yamato tells him to take cover to him jumping out to confront Devimon, he isn’t seen. Despite Devimon slashing all of the potential cover in the area.
  • There’s a point in the first act (one of the many scenes of MetalGreymon and WereGarurumon taking a nap) where the orchestration sounds an awful lot like the English dub’s for the original Adventure. It’s kind of eerie.
  • Takeru tells Devimon not to bully his friends. That’s how little damage Devimon was actually dealing: Takeru interprets it as bullying them rather than trying to kill them.
  • Part of the fascination with what’s going on with Devimon is not just in the fact that he’s so triggered by Tokomon, but in the strange distortion in his voice as he’s freaking out.
  • How sad is it that the most personality we get from any of the kids is Joe apologizing because he thought Koshiro was commenting on Ikkakumon’s failed rescue?
  • Equally sad that the clear best moment of the episode is Tokomon rolling away in the wind after Devimon evolves.
  • Awfully convenient that all the tankers proceeded through the narrow channel to the dock and none of them hit the edge of the harbor mere yards away.
  • There’s so much built into the moment where the real world group wills their Digimon to evolve to Ultimate (you know, the power they got a while ago), while MetalGarurumon activates Sagittarius Mode (you know, the one he gained just last episode) instantly with no comment.

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2 comments:

  1. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who picked up on the orchestral music sounding sort of like the original Adventure's dub music. Weird, huh? I liked it, though.

    But yeah, this series is quickly losing my interest. I mean, the action is great, and I want to see what happens next, but the kids are so bland and lacking in personality or any meaningful interaction that it's hard to care about what happens to them. In the old show, moments of the kids showing personality like that delightful Joe moment you mentioned would have been par for the course, but in this series, it's more of an exception. Characters showing the slightest inkling of character shouldn't be noteworthy; they should be normal occourances.

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  2. I think it says something when the most interesting character in this reboot so far is Devimon.

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